Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

The General in His Labyrinth

Sorry, the temptation to personalize is too big to drop such a headline. But in fact it’s the system, stupid, argues Thomas Ruttig on The General’s encounter with a rock music magazine. (Hum to the tone of Dr Hook’s famous hit ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone’, lyrics below.) Great, General, that was really helpful! […]

Latest rumours about still open ministries

As AAN has reported recently, there are still 13 vacancies in the Afghan cabinet. For the next days, at least some proposals from the President are expected by the parliament. The following list of possibly included candidates has been published by an Afghan website, claiming that it is based on ‘reliable reports from the presidential […]

A New Taleban Front?

The Taleban successfully have infiltrated Northern and Northeastern Afghanistan and destabilised certain areas, mainly in Kunduz province. Now, there are signs that they might attempt to push forward into mainly Hazara-settled areas the central region. The main road into Jaghori, an important Hazara area, has been blocked raising fears of a new economic blockade or […]

Congratulations, Francesc!

The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) conveys its best wishes to Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, Chairman of its Advisory Board, former Special Representative of the UN and the EU to and in Afghanistan, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Find below some of his selected statement, predictions, warnings – and also some regrets for misjudgements. General […]

Afghanistan Has a Two-Party System Now

No, this is not a joke. It really has one, at least for a couple of days. Yesterday, 15 Jauza (5 June), was the last day for Afghanistan’s parties to re-register, as required by a law. The MoJ official responsible for party registration confirmed to AAN’s Kabul office that all the old licenses are invalid […]

PEACA JIRGA BLOG 9: A Déjà vu of Big Tent ‘Democracy’

 A commentary ‘from the gut’ (1) about democracy and democracy deficits at the Kabul peace jirga, and of jirgas in general by Thomas Ruttig. Previous publications in the series include: The Peace Jirga in tweets by Wazhma Frogh, PEACE JIRGA BLOG 8: The Afghan jungle’s big beasts and ‘lively debate’ by Kate Clark, PEACE JIRGA […]

PEACE JIRGA BLOG 5: The Big Karzai Show

A first commentary on the beginning National Consultative Peace Jirga in Kabul by Thomas Ruttig The Peace Jirga that began today in Kabul, will fail its declared main aim: to establish a real national consensus on talks with the Taleban. In order to be able to, too many relevant political forces are absent – and […]

German President’s Resignation (Not) Afghanistan-Linked

More News from the German Front: In a surprise move, without precedence in German post-war history, head of state (Bundespräsident) Horst Köhler stepped down from his office with immediate effect today after noon. His step was triggered by remarks he made on the return of his first trip to Afghanistan (after six years in the […]

News from the German Front: The West’s Afghan Policy ‘has failed’

Five German institutes draw a condemning conclusion about the West’s policy in Afghanistan +++ Another institute alleges that the German government hides the larger portion of its Afghan military mission’s cost +++ Germany’s Minister of Defence does not know what happened to Afghans taken into custody and handed over to Afghan authorities +++ The ‘German […]

An Honest Transfer or ‘The Devil May Care’?

‘Transfer of Security Responsibility’ is one of the latest buzzwords in Afghanistan. It is part of the NATO strategy also sometimes described as ‘Afghanisation’. But, maybe, the latter resounds too closely with the term ‘Vietnamisation’. So, it is more probable that we will have to get used to yet another acronym: TSR. The ‘TSR’ concept […]

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